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This classic example of "capitalist realism" depicts a day in the life of Chevrolet workers in the U.S., while attempting to convince them that their own fortunes were inextricably linked to the fortunes of General Motors.
This movie is part of the collection: Prelinger Archives
Producer: Handy (Jam) Organization
Sponsor: Chevrolet Division, General Motors Corporation
Audio/Visual: Sd, B&W
Keywords: Labor: 1930s; Consumerism; Automobiles: Manufacturing
Creative Commons license: Public Domain
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Subject: 1937 Depression Year and nuthin but. Working class did'nt vote against their own interests the.
Puff piece from the P.R. types. Year of the sit-down strike by the United Auto Workers in Flint Michigan. Police called in and used mega-force against the strikers. Life looked too good the
workers homes looked middleto-upper middle class to me. And lo and behold they were all driving new Chevies! Kinda like the TV shows of today wherein everyone has ALL the upper middle class material stuff. GM was fighting it out with unions
at the time. Shortly after the this 2nd World War
led to a bonanza of Tank and Jeep building in their Chevy plants and much of the strife of the
30s' was put aside. Many people of color moved north to take advantage of the less onerous hiring
practices of the 1941-45 period for them and others of the lower classes it was an introduction to decent treatment and higher wages
that culminated in the the civil rights movement
and the powerfull unions of the 50s' and 60s'. This film was MARCH OF TIME like it was almost as
if the Corpporatists were trying to convince themselves that their system had not failed for a
methe auto workers
Subject: The Good Old Days
Life used to be fun before the housing bubble burst.
Subject: FUN TO WATCH
Fun to watch as we ride our Tahoes off into the sunset. Watch it to see what General Motors looked like before it went belly-up!
Subject: Not for everybody.
But definately for ME! Yes folks, the pleasure of buying! The spreading of money! And the enjoyment of all the things that paychecks can buy! Chevrolet paychecks of course! An awesome assemblage of auto factory, street, and retail scenes from the era. A must-see for any auto enthusiast. Very highly polished with dramatic, hard hitting narratives, and loaded with sexist fun.
Post-depression USA hits a peacetime boom of prosperity, and it's time to consume and be merry. This wave of prosperity due to manufacturing of course, and the army of workers that head to the factories every morning. We see the droves of men, acting as domestic pack mules, drivin from their homes every day to be nothing more than slaves to the consumer dollars they are required to bring home. We see the droves of consuming women, partaking in the retail feeding frenzy like hogs at the trough. Work you mindless fools! Work like dogs to feed the hungry female consumption puppets! Yes, it's a fuller life in the great "American Way".
But... but... what happened? The factories are closed now. Investment dollars go overseas, not to the USA worker. HEY! Where's my job? Where's my marraige? Where's my house? Yes Joe USA factory worker, this movie is over for you. Without that paycheck, all you are now is a chump to dump. Read the foreclosure notice, divorce papers, and restraining order and weep pal. Oh, and if you still don't cough up, now you go to JAIL! The NEW "American Way"!
Subject: How much for that accordion in the window?
A movie which promises stgrongly then becomes a shill for the American Consumer, 'From Dawn To Sunset starts off Baraka Style, more accurately, Koyannaquatsi style, with americans waking up, going to work at their gm plants, getting ready etc. So far so good, while I was watching it, I was actually please this wasnt a repeat of 'Master Hands' where it was celebrating a birth of a car. This looked to me more about the people (again Koyanaquaatsi), but then this film COMPLETELY falls apart in the second half, where the film just gets obsessed with the fact that these men have all this money to spend! And it goes from city to city, as we watch men pick up their pay stub, and then going to spend it on stuff they can buy at their city. We repeat this cycle at least 10 times, and it began to get NNOYING after the first 5. It then finishes by going back to 'the man' at the end of his day, whether he plays at home, or goes out, and then finally back to bed. Somewhat dissapointing, this film could have been so much more.
Christine Hennig -
Subject: From Dawn to Sunset
An idealistic portrayal of the "typical work day" of the typical worker at the Chevrolet plants in cities around the nation. First the all male workers kiss their wives goodbye and leave for work, while a chorus sings about "the beginning of a perfect day". Then they work for a little while (but not long). This "typical work day" happens to be payday, so there's a very long sequence of workers in each city where there's a Chevrolet plant getting paid and then going to the local stores and buying stuff. That's rightÃÂÃÂfor each city you see a "Welcome to..." sign, hear the city's anthem sung over a few shots of the city's main attractions, then you see long lines of workers at the Chevrolet plant getting paid (they all seem to be handed generic paychecks), then you see them shopping in the local stores and buying lots of stuff, with a heavy emphasis on local specialties (workers in Baltimore buy crabs, workers in Janesville, Wisconsin buy cheese, etc.). The final sequence shows the workers going home, saying "hi" to their wives and kids, and going to bed, while a chorus sings about their "perfect" lives and how happy they are. This film was made right after a big sitdown strike at Chevrolet which finally ushered in unions. That alone should tell you how realistic the film is. Of course, the filmmakers seem to conceive of "perfection" mainly in terms of shopping: the workers get paid! So they can, like, buy stuff! What more could they want? A capitalist dream, or nightmare, depending upon your point of view.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ***. Also available on Our Secret Century, Vol. 2: Capitalist Realism.